When I came home and started in on the laundry, I noticed a burned smell. I ran into a chick, who explained that the guy in the apartment below hers had been on oxygen, and something had gone wrong. She had been in the shower, and had heard a pop like someone slamming a car door. She thought nothing of it for a bit. Then she got out of the shower, and she saw smoke on the balcony. She grabbed a robe and bailed next door to get someone to help grab her ferret. When they came back 2 seconds later, there was fire on the balcony, and they decided against going in to rescue the ferret. This decision doomed the ferret, but possibly saved their lives.
From what she said, the apartments are utterly gutted -- there are beams left of the floor and ceiling, but nothing else.
The Red Cross is putting her up and helping her replace her stuff.
I'll see what we have spare around the apartment that she might be in need of.